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Unforced Variations: Jan 2019

Filed under: — group @ 1 January 2019

This year’s first open thread on climate science topics. Usual rules apply – and let’s make a particular effort to stay substantive and not devolve into empty bickering (you still have Facebook for that).

Any expectations or predictions for climate science in 2019?

248 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Jan 2019”

  1. 101
    Killian says:

    Re #90 mike said I think this warrants repeating, in its entiret>y

    Sure, when *he* says it, ya listen!

    “To maintain CO2 concentrations at a stable level, you could only emit what was effectively being balanced by long-term sinks. On the hundred-year scale, that is basically only the deep ocean, and the current sequestration there is about 2 GtC/yr. Given we are putting out ~10 GtC/yr, that means you’d have to cut emissions by 80% to stabilise CO2 (which is not the same as stabilising temperature – that would continue to rise, though more slowly). – gavin]”

    I’ve been saying for a long time we had to reduce consumption this much. And, yes, CO2 is a proxy for consumption. Certain regulars have regularly scoffed at that number.

    Go ahead, scoff at Gavin.

  2. 102
    S.B. Ripman says:

    An interesting article (Zanna et.al.) on ocean heat storage:

    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/01/04/1808838115

    Using the deep ocean for heat storage makes sense only if one assumes that humanity will eventually figure out a way to reverse the energy imbalance problem caused by greenhouse gases. Otherwise isn’t it comparable to using the atmosphere for disposal of carbon emissions?
    The article points out the importance of ocean currents, and changes in ocean currents.

  3. 103
    nigelj says:

    Mike @97

    “Traditional economists tell us there is no way we can afford to cut emissions without doing big damage to the global societies.’

    Where do you get this from? Can you provide a link to a specific economist? A consensus view would be more useful if you have seen one.

    The Stern Report is well known and calculated we could transition to renewable energy at a global cost of approximately 3% of total global gdp (economic output) per year. Obviously this is not a huge number, and is not consistent with “big damage”.

  4. 104

    @sidd mentions the new paper on Antarctic ice sheet loss.
    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/01/08/1812883116

    I would appreciate some realclimate commentary on this. The paper reports ice mass loss of 252 Gt/year during the most recent period.

    What I am wondering is how they get from that number to a concern about “multimeter SLE” (sea level equivalent)? I think I understand that 1 cm SLE requires at least 3,600 Gt of ice mass loss. So 1 meter of SLE requires 360,000 Gt of ice mass loss.

    Thus, even though the rate of ice mass loss has gone way up, isn’t it still far short of the rate required for “multimeter SLE” on, say, the scale of a century? What am I missing? Why did the authors refer to “multmeter SLE”?

  5. 105
    mike says:

    Hey, Killian at 101:

    I think Gavin has more “climate science star power” than you and me. Since the third way trolls and lukewarmers like to pick things apart and argue every point (for rhetorical and argumentative purposes), I like to just repeat what the CS Stars say when it is short and to the point, as it was in this case.

    I regularly hear you and usually agree with you. I certainly agree with you that CO2 (and CO2e) are proxies for consumption. I choose the “buy nothing new” as often as I can.

    Cheers, buddy

    Mike

  6. 106

    John, #104–

    I’m not a scientist, but let a fool rush in.

    Two bits from the paper:

    …it is likely that SLR from Antarctica will originate from the same general areas, which are nearest to the sources of warm CDW and therefore directly sensitive to a strengthening and contraction of the polar westerlies toward Antarctica that bring more CDW in contact with the glaciers. As ice-shelf melt increases, the glaciers will feel less resistance to flow, accelerate, and contribute to SLR.

    So they expect acceleration to continue.

    Our mass balance assessment, combined with prior surveys, suggests that the sector between Cook/Ninnis and West ice shelves may be exposed to CDW and could contribute multimeter SLR with unabated climate warming.

    That’s the only place where I saw the word “multimeter” used. Any chance you misread “SLE” for “SLR”?

    The Cook Ice Shelf is at about 152 degrees E longitude, whereas the West Ice Shelf is at 85 E. So that’s a very long stretch of coast indeed. If “may be exposed” means “may become exposed”, then that would entail further acceleration of mass loss, as suggested by the previous quote.

    They do not, as far as I can see, quantify just how great that acceleration might be. You can sidle up on SLR estimates that help answer your question by inferring current SLR rates from numbers given in the abstract. There, total SLR since 1979 is put at 14 mm, and 2009-2017 accounts for roughly half of that, or 7 mm. So at that rate, it would take about 143 for the ice melt component to raise sea level past the one meter mark.

    But past acceleration has already seen a 6x increase in loss rate. Should that be repeated, obviously you would need to divide that number by 6, which would give ~24 years.

    And of course, Antarctica, while it is the single largest source of meltwater SLR, is not the only one; and meltwater is only about half of current SLR, with the other half being due to thermal expansion of the seawater. So you could guesstimate that even without a further acceleration, you’d have to divide the 143 years by 2 to get a rough estimate of when we pass the 1 meter mark. 72 years would be 2091–which is more or less consistent with IPCC estimates, which have a lot of uncertainty anyway.

  7. 107
    sidd says:

    Re: Rignot AIS paper, multimeter SLR

    Naively using a doubling time of 6 yr for WAIS melts all of it by century end. The question is if melt rates flatten down from exponential.

    sidd

  8. 108
    Al Bundy says:

    Mike,

    Yes, I was unclear. I meant after the 100 years. A few human lifetimes until the ocean’s sequestered carbon starts resurfacing.

    MAR, thanks.

  9. 109
    Hank Roberts says:

    https://thinkprogress.org/new-study-antarctic-ice-loss-10-foot-sea-level-rise-49c7c8614848/

    East Antarctica’s melting “increases the risk of multiple meter (more than 10 feet) sea level rise over the next century or so,” lead author Eric Rignot told the AP. Rignot is a senior project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

    And even just half that level of sea rise means the destruction of every major coastal city in the nation and the world. With just 6 feet of sea level rise, for instance, the southern tip of Florida would be underwater.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/01/08/1812883116

  10. 110
    Killian says:

    Re #109 Hank Roberts says:
    16 Jan 2019 at 12:40 AM

    https://thinkprogress.org/new-study-antarctic-ice-loss-10-foot-sea-level-rise-49c7c8614848/

    East Antarctica’s melting “increases the risk of multiple meter (more than 10 feet) sea level rise over the next century or so,” lead author Eric Rignot

    What I find interesting is not that I said this long ago, but nobody listened, but that nobody, here or elsewhere, has ever asked, “Why?”

  11. 111
    Killian says:

    Re #105 Mike,

    Sorry I didn’t use an emoticon. I thought the playful sarcasm would come through.

  12. 112
    Killian says:

    Re #107 sidd said Re: Rignot AIS paper, multimeter SLR

    Naively using a doubling time of 6 yr for WAIS melts all of it by century end.

    Not naive. I asked this question/proposed this long ago based on Hansen, et al. I was largely ignored and/or scoffed at, IIRC, and yet, see where we end up…

    So, again… when are any of you going to start asking, “Really? Why do you think so? Or, “How would that be possible?” or “What logical thread lead you to that conclusion?”

    Science is not the only way of knowing.

  13. 113
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: And, yes, CO2 is a proxy for consumption.

    AB: It used to be. Money varies with CO2 varies with consumption.

    But when one is in the middle of a paradigm change, which all of us believe (the question is about defining the future paradigm), then the proxy fails. You can drop your CO2 emissions by 150% while increasing your consumption by 150%, with consumption defined as human satisfaction and enjoyment. For example, insulating your house will drastically increase your consumption (a way more comfortable house) and drastically decrease your CO2 emissions (after the huge spike during the renovations).

    ——

    Nigel: we could transition to renewable energy at a global cost of approximately 3% of total global gdp (economic output) per year. Obviously this is not a huge number, and is not consistent with “big damage”.

    AB: Your definitions are different than theirs. You see, “Big Damage” refers to the Old Economy and the billionaires who feed off it. If we get serious the Koch brothers will lose more money than God’s ever seen and the Old Economy will implode or wither. So if you ignore/discount the New Economy the All Important Bottom Line is way scary.

    It seems this month is about definitions. They’re important, as our new young hispanic female heroine is demonstrating.

  14. 114
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @113, there is that of course. The relevant book is Dark Money, with plenty of previews easily googled.

  15. 115
    nigelj says:

    Making sense of all these sea level rise predictions is challenging. Different research finds different things. I have always looked back at the paleo climate history for some guidance, because its happened and isn’t reliant on modelling (no disrespect to modelling). Modelling glacier flow rates looks very challenging.

    Past periods of climate change have had periods of 2 – 3 metres per century for a few centuries, and at warming of about 4 degrees celsius. We are not yet at 4 degrees to it seems hard to believe we would see more than 2 metres this century, but I think 2 metres looks possible this century, and quite possible that things could speed up with 3 or more metres over the next century.

    The point is it looks possible that we could have multi metre sea level rise per century “at some point”. This would be utterly devastating, whether its this century or next. Even 1 metre is devastating enough.

    I work in infrastructure design and this requires predictable knowledge of environmental change processes. If sea level rise was a constant 200mm per year this is not a massive problem,(although still problematic) but once it gets much above this, and we are unable to predict if it will be constant or not, design becomes impossible. Expect huge difficulties and costs, and large areas of land to be put off limits for development.

  16. 116
    SecularAnimist says:

    A new study of permafrost warming in Nature Communications:

    Permafrost is warming at a global scale
    Boris K. Biskaborn, Sharon L. Smith, et al
    Nature Communications
    Volume 10, Article number: 264 (2019)
    Published: 16 January 2019

    ABSTRACT: “Permafrost warming has the potential to amplify global climate change, because when frozen sediments thaw it unlocks soil organic carbon. Yet to date, no globally consistent assessment of permafrost temperature change has been compiled. Here we use a global data set of permafrost temperature time series from the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost to evaluate temperature change across permafrost regions for the period since the International Polar Year (2007–2009). During the reference decade between 2007 and 2016, ground temperature near the depth of zero annual amplitude in the continuous permafrost zone increased by 0.39 ± 0.15 °C. Over the same period, discontinuous permafrost warmed by 0.20 ± 0.10 °C. Permafrost in mountains warmed by 0.19 ± 0.05 °C and in Antarctica by 0.37 ± 0.10 °C. Globally, permafrost temperature increased by 0.29 ± 0.12 °C. The observed trend follows the Arctic amplification of air temperature increase in the Northern Hemisphere. In the discontinuous zone, however, ground warming occurred due to increased snow thickness while air temperature remained statistically unchanged.”

    LINK: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-08240-4

    Permafrost Is Warming Around the Globe, Study Shows. That’s a Problem for Climate Change.
    By Bob Berwyn
    InsideClimate News
    Jan 16, 2019

    EXCERPT: “Vast areas of permafrost around the world warmed significantly over the past decade, intensifying concerns about accelerated releases of heat-trapping methane and carbon dioxide as microbes decompose the thawing organic soils … data from a global network of permafrost test sites show that, on average, permafrost regions around the world—in the Arctic, Antarctic and the high mountains—warmed by a half degree Fahrenheit between 2007 and 2016. The most dramatic warming was found in the Siberian Arctic, where temperatures in the deep permafrost increased by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit.”

    LINK: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/16012019/permafrost-thaw-climate-change-temperature-data-arctic-antarctica-mountains-study

  17. 117
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: Not naive. I asked this question/proposed this long ago based on Hansen, et al. I was largely ignored and/or scoffed at, IIRC, and yet, see where we end up…

    So, again… when are any of you going to start asking, “Really? Why do you think so? Or, “How would that be possible?” or “What logical thread lead you to that conclusion?”

    AB: Hmmm, IIRC my opinion of sea level rise possibilities were “alarmist” as well. Same with sea ice. I have two longstanding (maybe two decades) bets for $1. One was that the arctic sea ice would be substantially gone at minimum by 2025 and the other was that sea level rise would be over a meter by 2100. Since Dr H’s doubling paper I’ve been quite open to the possibility that he’s right or even underestimating the future and I’ve stated that my guess is that he’s off on the high side of sea level rise, but not excessively.

    So it seems that you just didn’t notice that other so-called alarmists existed. And seriously, self-congratulating posts irk people, especially those that seem to say, “ALL of you are WAY inferior to me and if things were PROPERLY organized my feet would be covered with saliva.”

    Killian: Science is not the only way of knowing.

    AB: True. There is quantum magic, savantism, vagus nerve feedback (gut feelings and intuition), and just plain luck. For every leader like Churchill who was so confident that he had Destiny that he wasn’t afraid in combat there are ever so many confident corpses. Did Churchill get lucky? Or did Schrodinger save Winston’s butt?

    So, give us a prediction to play with. What’s coming, Killian?

  18. 118
    Killian says:

    Re #113 Al Bundy said Killian: And, yes, CO2 is a proxy for consumption.

    AB: It used to be. Money varies with CO2 varies with consumption.

    No, it still is. It won’t be, if we choose wisely, but at this time absolutely is. You can argue only the ratio, but that is a rather trivial point given the meta nature of the point I responded to. As things change your point will become more accurate… given wisdom in our choices.

    But when one is in the middle of a paradigm change

    “We” aren’t. A tiny fraction are. The rest are arranging deck chairs. Regardless, we are barely beginning the shift, not anywhere near the middle of… to be a little pedantic.

    with consumption defined as human satisfaction and enjoyment.

    Why define “dog” as rhino? Satisfaction itself is not consumptive. Buying/making things to feel satisfaction is consumption, but not satisfaction itself. So, no, no point in such mental gymnastics.

    ******************************************

    Re #115 nigelj said Making sense of all these sea level rise predictions is challenging.

    Not if you understand design for future conditions in The Long Emergency can only be effective when using long tail assessments. I repeat again: Climate adaptation and mitigation are best discussed in terms of long tail risks, not averages. Designing to averages now is quite literally deadly.

    I think 2 metres looks possible this century, and quite possible that things could speed up with 3 or more metres over the next century.

    You? You sure you’re not getting that from someone(s) else?

    but once it gets much above this, and we are unable to predict if it will be constant or not, design becomes impossible.

    Yes, for typical engineering. Not for regenerative systems. I passionately urged Detroit to include climate refugee planning in their new long-term city plan in 2010-2012. (It was recorded… wonder what they did with those?) Detroit is, WRT natural disasters, the safest city in the U.S., so in time I expect a lot of displaced people to end up in that area.

  19. 119
    Killian says:

    Re #117 Al Bundy said I was largely ignored and/or scoffed at, IIRC, and yet, see where we end up…

    Largely does not equal completely.

    The post was not self-congratulatory. I’ve an INTP personality. I deal in facts, info, logic, not emotional responses to them. It makes sense to me to point to the record when making a statement. The record exists, but is largely ignored.

    I.e., you missed the point by focusing on ego issues rather than the fact presented and in doing so repeated the old error.

    So, again… when are any of you going to start asking, “Really? Why do you think so? Or, “How would that be possible?” or “What logical thread lead you to that conclusion?”

    AB: Hmmm, IIRC my opinion of sea level rise possibilities were “alarmist” as well. Same with sea ice. I have two longstanding (maybe two decades) bets for $1. One was that the arctic sea ice would be substantially gone at minimum by 2025 and the other was that sea level rise would be over a meter by 2100.

    A meter? That wasn’t alarmist even ten years ago: IPCC IV did not include ice dynamics which guaranteed the 1/3M by 2100 was a vast underestimate.

    Since Dr H’s doubling paper I’ve been quite open to the possibility that he’s right or even underestimating the future

    Here’s the thing: I was saying 1M definite, 2M fairly likely and 3 possible since… 2007. Well before Hansen, et al. So, my point was not about ego, it is about the lack of curiosity about how I came to such a conclusion, among others. Rather than try to understand my thinking, logic, the responses are pretty much like yours: How arrogant! Except… it’s not arrogance.

    and I’ve stated that my guess is that he’s off on the high side of sea level rise, but not excessively.

    He can’t be “off,” the paper deals in possibilities, not predictions. And even Richard Alley, iirc, has said 5M is an actual possibilty, at the far end of the tail.

    So it seems that you just didn’t notice that other so-called alarmists existed.

    Logical error: Saying I was largely ignored does not equal *only* I was ignored. Again, the point is I come to my conclusions very differently than most (all?) others. I’d expect some wondering as to how. But I don’t recall anyone – and not just here – ever asking.

    And seriously, self-congratulating posts irk people, especially those that seem to say, “ALL of you are WAY inferior to me and if things were PROPERLY organized my feet would be covered with saliva.”

    Then don’t do that. I don’t. Your interpretation does not equal my internal world.

    Killian: Science is not the only way of knowing.

    So, give us a prediction to play with. What’s coming, Killian?

    Oh, come on. You have used “prediction” twice in your post. You know better. And, why do I need a new scenario set? The old ones are still in play. I may play with another ASI prediction for 2019-21 if a significant EN develops. The last one worked out well with 2016 coming in #2. What’s most interesting there, though, are all the records set since 2016 at non-minimum times. Still figuring on what that might mean and how it might help with future scenarios.

  20. 120
    Mr. Know It All says:

    88 – Kevin
    96 – Hank

    Thank you both for those answers. There were no specific details, but the Wikipedia link seemed to have the best info – under Ice Core “Dating”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_core#Dating.

    It said this:

    A difficulty in ice core dating is that gases can diffuse through firn, so the ice at a given depth may be substantially older than the gases trapped in it. As a result, there are two chronologies for a given ice core: one for the ice, and one for the trapped gases. To determine the relationship between the two, models have been developed for the depth at which gases are trapped for a given location, but their predictions have not always proved reliable.[39][40] At locations with very low snowfall, such as Vostok, the uncertainty in the difference between ages of ice and gas can be over 1,000 years.[41]

    The density and size of the bubbles trapped in ice provide an indication of crystal size at the time they formed. The size of a crystal is related to its growth rate, which in turn depends on the temperature, so the properties of the bubbles can be combined with information on accumulation rates and firn density to calculate the temperature when the firn formed.[42]

    Radiocarbon dating can be used on the carbon in trapped CO2. In the polar ice sheets there is about 15–20 µg of carbon in the form of CO2 in each kilogram of ice, and there may also be carbonate particles from wind-blown dust (loess). The CO2 can be isolated by subliming the ice in a vacuum, keeping the temperature low enough to avoid the loess giving up any carbon. The results have to be corrected for the presence of 14C produced directly in the ice by cosmic rays, and the amount of correction depends strongly on the location of the ice core. Corrections for 14C produced by nuclear testing have much less impact on the results.[43] Carbon in particulates can also be dated by separating and testing the water-insoluble organic components of dust. The very small quantities typically found require at least 300g of ice to be used, limiting the ability of the technique to precisely assign an age to core depths.[44]

  21. 121
    Mr. Know It All says:

    109 – Hank
    “And even just half that level of sea rise means the destruction of every major coastal city in the nation and the world. With just 6 feet of sea level rise, for instance, the southern tip of Florida would be underwater.”

    Sounds like it’s time to start building walls around our cities – for the industrial world it might be feasible. And we need a wall on some of our land too. ;)

    117 – Al Bundy
    “So, give us a prediction to play with. What’s coming, Killian?”

    I’ll give ya one – big reduction in CO2 emissions coming soon and you ain’t gonna like it:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-11/scenarios-collapse-world-utterly-unprepared

  22. 122
    MA Rodger says:

    With the child on Pennsylvania Avenue still refusing to let the grown-ups back in to do their work, NOAA web pages remain set to a default message. I’m presuming that this would prevent the publising of ER SST and thus both the NOAA & GISS global surface temperature records. GISTEMP is quite consistant under normal circumstances, publishing LOTI between the 14th & the 18th.
    HadCRUT and also BEST use HadSST so will be unaffected by the tantrum but HadCRUT is always published much later than NOAA or GISS, while BEST can be early as well as late.
    While we know 2018 will be the fourth warmest on record so far, it would be good to see how the surface records end the year.

  23. 123
    Gordon Shephard says:

    Looking at the slope of the Petit Climate Graphs “arctic death spiral,” there are clearly ranges within which the slope is flat, or positive (increasing ice volume, e.g., roughly, 1982 to 1987), within the overall negative slope. Now, in the current decade, the slope is, roughly, flat.

    Is there something in the climate system with which these conditions correlate?

  24. 124
  25. 125
    Al Bundy says:

    SecularA,

    Yeah, melting is a wet process that is aided by gravity. Freezing is pure conduction. Figure one in the Nature paper is enlightening. And the number to watch is NOT 0C, but the lowest temperature where the local bacteria can start up. Metabolism will aid the final meltdown, assuming that temperature is below 0C.

  26. 126
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: Here’s the thing: I was saying 1M definite, 2M fairly likely and 3 possible since… 2007.

    AB: Geez. Only a MORON would not know such things until 2007. I mean LOLOL. Twas the late 90s when anybody with a brain would have easily made the bet I made back then.

    Catch up. Moron. Not an insult. Just a fact. (Hurts, eh? And you wonder why others respond exactly like you are itching to respond to right now.) And it isn’t an insult because it is TRUE, moron.

    NOTE: All of the above is to make a point, not to state facts. Killian is intelligent and caring.

  27. 127
    Al Bundy says:

    MA: While we know 2018 will be the fourth warmest on record so far, it would be good to see how the surface records end the year.

    AB: I suppose, but I’d use the word “fun” as opposed to “good”. We knew what we NEED to know in 1900 or so. The current food fight is kinda irrelevant. (Except that a fair percentage of the USA doesn’t give a damn about science, —- and seriously, doesn’t that ALSO make the science irrelevant?)

    Such a stupid discussion we must always land in. Swamp species? Swamp universe? Swamp choice?

  28. 128
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian,

    Your point that your good comments do NOT always result in confirmation is key. I’ve felt the same way. You say something folks accept and they say nothing. They object and they’ll pile on.

    That is TRUE. What is not true is that it has anything to do with you. Now, you have denigrated Nigel. But I’ve gotten tremendous feelings from Nigel’s acceptance that what I say, which is 180 degrees opposite from what he entered the discussion with! He pointed out what bothered him, what he didn’t understand. I explained my logic and he groked it. You have had a different experience. Why?

    You talk about BPL. Heck, BPL has hated my guts forever. But he’s ALWAYS been fair to me, to my thoughts. Yeah, he’s not as perfect as me in his thoughts (we all think our current thoughts are perfect… well, except me)

    And that’s the key. “except me”. Nope. You ain’t the exception. I ain’t the exception.

    You get what you sow. I’d suggest that you read some Dale Carnegie. “How to win friends and influence people” would change your life.

  29. 129
    MA Rodger says:

    Gordan Shepard @123,
    I would suggest that eyeballing an “arctic death spiral” is not the best way to identify acceleration within the Arctic Sea Ice Volume, particularly with the different levels of loss by season (although it is not impossible as has been suggested*). If you think otherwise, it would be good to know which particular spiral you are looking at. There are a few spiral graphs at Jim Pettit’s Pettit Climate Graphs, both Volume and Extent, but none that I can see titled “Arctic Death Spiral,” a name which was adopted by Andy Lee Robinson for his spiral graphic and also by Eric Collins in his ‘funereal’ anamation.
    While spirals are good fun, a normal orthogonal graph would be better for assessing rates of acceleration, or indeed, recourse to the data itself. The annual-average-ice-loss in PIOMAS yield a lot of noise. 5-year rolling averages show an accleration from pretty-much the start of the record down to 2009 (reaching 700 cu km/yr), followed by a deceleration to present levels (of 100 cu km/yr).
    A similar analysis of NSIDC Sea Ice Extent shows acceleration to 2004 (reaching ~0.15M sq km/yr) and a deceleration to today’s losses (~0.05M sq km/yr). Regarding extent, there was an analysis a few years back that demonstrated that the loss of Extent was equal to a steady level of ice retreat when measured by latitude. Whether that still holds true, I know not.

    (*I recall a swivel-eyed denialist a few months back arguing that the length of line varying with distance from the ‘origin, or the areal version of such changes, or both, on these “alarmist” graphics were designed to deceive the eye.)

  30. 130
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @128, I absolutely don’t reject peoples views simply because they are impolite towards me. I’m simply not that vindictive. I reject their views because I have listened to their views, and their so called subsequent clarifications, and I just simply still disagree with them.

    This doesn’t mean tone of language is unimportant, because a reasonably polite tone certainly helps people connect and helps persuade them. Carnegie was 100% right.

  31. 131
    Pat Fish says:

    Re: 9
    I wonder if it would help to compare our CO2 accumulation problem with that of an overweight human being who keeps gaining weight?

    Just some old guy here: The simplest explanation I have come up with is:

    Mother nature accumulated this carbon as fossils; we know it as fossil fuels. It took mother nature 400 million years to accumulate this ” fossil fuel”. We are on course to burn it up in about 400 years. That means that we, Humans, are putting up a million years of carbon captured by mother nature into the air every year. This is unnatural and Mother nature cannot cope with it at all. It would take a million years for her to put it back in the ground. While she is trying to do this The extra carbon in the air is collecting heat from the suns rays and making it more like it was before she started collecting all this carbon as fossils.

    Not scientific.. but something simple children should be able to grasp with a little video.

    Sorry for the interruption

    Pat Fish

  32. 132
    Killian says:

    Re #126 Al Bundy said All of the above is to make a point

    A Straw Man is not a point, it’s prevarication. I won’t be repeating the inappropriate slur you used, which should not be used even when just “making a point.”

  33. 133
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Killian: “Science is not the only way of knowing.”

    No. It’s just the only reliable way of knowing.

  34. 134
    Al Bundy says:

    Special K,

    Dude, mimicking your treatment of others isn’t even close to a straw man. You prove my non insult

    Moron (informal) a stupid person. Syn: fool, oaf, ooo, nincompoop!

    Yep, no insult. Killian IS a….

    See, dude? And interesting that you SEEM upset and angry
    Fortunately I know that you are cool inside so there’s no reason to change my tack (and yes, I’m still hoping, but it’s fading fast.)

  35. 135
    ClimateCal says:

    Sorry to interrupt your learned discussion, men, but what is a rough equation for the thermal expansion of seawater? “e= (l/α s,ϑ,p)(∂α s,ϑ,p /∂ϑ)” is over my head.

    Also, is there a resource for simple climate-related lab experiments that k-12 students could do, like to show that CO2 is opaque to infrared? Is anyone on YouTube doing this, well?
    (I did take a quick look at Cleanet.org and did I not see such an experiment there.)

  36. 136
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @133, the baby in the white house sure seems to think his way knowing doesn’t even require expert advice or even reading reports. He “trusts his gut” and has “special skills”.

    Ha ha ha (takes deep breath) ha ha ha.

  37. 137
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @134

    “Special K,” its this amusing but overly clever, double entendre stuff that will be the death of you one day.

  38. 138
    Nemesis says:

    @Ray Ladbury, #133

    ” Killian: “Science is not the only way of knowing.”

    No. It’s just the only reliable way of knowing.”

    Yes, I love science showing the nacked truth and no mercy.

  39. 139
    Killian says:

    We hit a daily average of 412.51ppm according to Scripps, and over 413ppm on the 9th according to NOAA-ESRL. We don’t usually get to the previous yearly high(0.09 short of it) till March or April.

    Looks like my intuitive response to the two days over 411 had some merit. Two became nearly four, then a two-day break and then four days where hourly’s went as high as 413, but no daily was posted due to noisiness, but now this official reading from the 19th.

    My nothingburger just became Whopper. I’m not saying this indicates anything unusual for May, but I am saying it indicates something in the system.

  40. 140
    Killian says:

    Four times faster over ten years here, 6 times faster over some decades there, 5-year doublings in spots here and there…

    Seems to me, Hansen, et al., are looking increasingly prescient in suggesting 5-year doubling times for ice melt might happen this century (iirc).

    This is a 5-year doubling time:
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/18/north-america-glacier-melt-study-climate-change

    If you care to think in terms of a chaotic tipping point, I have zero doubt we are well into the wobbles, if not already well into tipping points in sub-systems, at least.

  41. 141
    MA Rodger says:

    John D Wilson @104,
    I see you have not been replied to.
    You ask why Rignot et al (2019) ‘Four decades of Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance from 1979–2017’ mention multi-metre SLR when their main finding, a 6x increase in Antarctic SLR contribution over 40 years, results in this SLR contribution growing from 0.1mm/yr to 0.6mm/yr which you consider to be trivial.
    (1) The paper does not link their comment of multi-metre SLR directly to the six-fold increase. Rather the multi-metre comment, actually 5.1m, refers to particular sectors of Eastern Antartica where the ice shelf is considered most vulnerable to warm Circumpolar Deep Water. Were the ice shelves to be melted away, the ice built up behind them would be able to flow into the oceans with a potential large SLR resulting, this enumerated thus – West Ice Shelf (1.15m), Denman/Shackleton Ice Shelf (1.49m), Cook (1.58m), and Ninnis (0.95m). The paper thus proposes a greater level of observation for these sectors. Effectively, the paper is saying this part of Eastern Antarctica poses a threat equal to that of Western Antarctica.
    (2) As the paper stresses, the ice-loss in Antarctica is very large but this is balanced by snowfall. Both ice-loss & snowfall are expected to rise under AGW. It is the net sum [iceloss-minus-snowfall] that has risen six-fold over the last 40 years, reaching the heady heights of 0.6mm/yr over recent years. Yet do be aware that this present-day rate 60mm/century could easily continue to rise just as dramatically which would then greatly exceed present estimates. The IPCC AR5 Fig13.11a shows a centenial SLR from Antarctica of less than 100mm/century, and this under all scenarios.

  42. 142
    MA Rodger says:

    Thomas the ‘tin (aka Carrie)@99 was making like a true “skyrocketeer” and waving cherry-picked MLO CO2 data. I will thus continue to update the weekly progress of the CO2 increase as recorded at MLO, this informative and non-misleading, unlike Thomas’s cherry-picking. For simplicity, this will constitute a new graphic without the comparison to the 1998 El Nino although still plotting the MEI showing ENSO levels. The graphic is uploaded here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) and temporarily shows the weeks of the ‘Thomas cherry-pick’ coloured appropriately.

  43. 143
    Ray Ladbury says:

    ClimateCal@135,
    To some extent, it depends on salinity and pressure–and pressure is a big issue in the oceans. For constant salinity and pressure a linear trend vs. temperature is not bad.

    See: http://www.kayelaby.npl.co.uk/general_physics/2_7/2_7_9.html

    As to demonstrating that CO2 is opaque to IR–it’s really only opaque over a given range. Also, if you have a container of CO2, you have to take into account the container’s IR absorption properties. You might, however, be able to take advantage of the fact that CO2 is heavier than air if the air in your classroom is quite still. Maybe two deep open containers–one with dry ice allowed to evaporate and displace the air, the other with air. Two thermometers in the bottoms of the containers. Allow both to equilibrate to room temperature, then turn on an IR heat lamp over both.

  44. 144
    MA Rodger says:

    ClimateCal @135,
    The ‘equation’ you present is a mathematical definition for a themal expansion coefft at constant temperature (ϑ), pressure (p) and salinity (s). The values are empirically derived so I would be surprised if there is a “rough equation” for it.

  45. 145

    Re: “[Science] is just the only reliable way of knowing.”

    Philosphical–more specifically, epistemological–aside:

    I’d accept that science is by far the most reliable way of acquiring, systematizing, and even arguably operationalizing conceptual knowledge, especially when it involves high levels of abstraction. And I wish that this way of knowing was given more respect and more decision-making weight in our culture–as in, metaphorically speaking (in order not to abuse metrology once again), several orders of magnitude more.

    But that is not the entire scope covered by the word “knowledge”. You can’t rock a guitar solo, heal a patient, close a sale, inspire a student, or shape a piece of wood (absent a CCM setup, anyway) solely by science, or by any subset reasonably covered by the term “conceptual knowledge.”

    It’s true, of course, that these and many other similar skills may prove unreliable at times–guitar solos may bore, patients die unnecessarily, prospects walk away, students drop out, or workpieces have to be scrapped.

    But I had a fascinating experience years ago. Delayed on a day-trip canoe expedition, we found ourselves paddling after dark down a stretch of river with many ‘strainers’–trees, undercut by bank erosion, still living but near-horizontal, with branches extending down into the water. Collision with them was at best unpleasant and inconvenient, at worst dangerous; one such collision had illustrated the former case, as well as the potential for the latter.

    You’d hear them first; the current was brisk enough to create noise to alert you. But peering through the dark, it was not possible to know definitively which way to guide the canoe soon enough to avoid the strainer.

    But simple probability, we reasoned, could at least mitigate the problem: just make your best guess, and if you’re right, you avoid the strainer. Guess wrong, and you’re no worse off than if you had waited. So, theoretically, you could cut your collisions in half. So we tried it.

    We hit no more strainers. Not one.

    We still bypassed quite a few, but in every single case, that initial ‘best guess’ was correct–even though in no case did we feel assured of its correctness at the time we made it. It was a startling demonstration that there is indeed such a thing as “unconscious knowledge,” and that in some circumstances it can be very reliable indeed.

    Thus endeth the epistemological aside.

    Carry on!

  46. 146
    zebra says:

    #135 ClimateCal,

    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/volumetric-temperature-expansion-d_315.html

    You want to give K-12 these days formulas? Discussing and getting them to look up the inputs seems like an appropriate challenge.

    With respect to finding experiments that could be set up, why not make that the assignment for age-appropriate students, to begin with? Then involve them in the process of physically building it.

    In my experience students at all levels will be more engaged if they are participating rather than being demonstrated at.

  47. 147
    nigelj says:

    KM says “But that is not the entire scope covered by the word “knowledge”. You can’t rock a guitar solo, heal a patient, close a sale, inspire a student, or shape a piece of wood (absent a CCM setup, anyway) solely by science, or by any subset reasonably covered by the term “conceptual knowledge.”

    This is a good comment, but I would say playing a guitar is knowledge of a skill, and this is not the same as scientific analysis. In other words it is knowing how, not knowing why.

    Science might inform us how to invent better, and explain why music sounds so good.I have no idea, but it probably activates the pleasure centre in the brain, dopamine etc. Interesting to ponder why musical notes would do that. Perhaps soft sounds are generally indicative of a safe situation while discordant harsh sounds indicate danger.

    Intuition is our subconscious mind quickly analysing things and this is a mechanism so we can deal with urgent threats. Read this somewhere, probably Psychology Today. Our mind is actually doing a form of crude science here, or at least processing what information we have, but this intuition is unreliable, especially with complicated issues.

  48. 148
    zebra says:

    #145 Kevin McKinney,

    So, you went on a canoe trip and didn’t think to bring a flashlight. In my long experience with wilderness, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed day-trip.

    From our recent conversations, it sounds like that lesson didn’t take; you still think the good stuff will happen and the bad stuff won’t.

    The rest of what you say there is either unclear or unsound, but perhaps not really on topic for UV. I would just point out that not being “conscious” of how you arrive at a conclusion doesn’t mean that it wasn’t the result of your “education” (experience, training, learning, usw,) all of which was informed by “conceptual knowledge”.

  49. 149
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Kevin McKinney: “But that is not the entire scope covered by the word “knowledge”. You can’t rock a guitar solo, heal a patient, close a sale, inspire a student, or shape a piece of wood (absent a CCM setup, anyway) solely by science, or by any subset reasonably covered by the term ‘conceptual knowledge.'”

    Well, computers are healing patients as we speak–in some cases more effectively than human physicians.

    And a computer inspired me to start taking artificial intelligence more seriously when it defeated a Go master via a strategy utterly alien to a human intelligence. (It also got me thinking about other types of “alien” intelligence–e.g.the hive intelligence of social insects…)

    John Von Neumann once noted that when people say that a computer reproduce human intelligence, they are neglecting the paradox that if they could specify precisely what it was that computers could not do, they could do it.

    I think it is too early to proscribe boundaries where science is and is not profitable. And, as you noted, I specified “reliably”. If it’s something that is of critical importance, you need to rely on science.

  50. 150
    Mr. Know It All says:

    135 – ClimateCal

    Some good info on thermal expansion FYI:

    http://www.bitsofscience.org/sea-level-rise-thermal-expansion-7256/

    37 pages on the physical properties of sea water:
    http://pordlabs.ucsd.edu/ltalley/sio210/DPO/TALLEY_9780750645522_chapter3.pdf

    Lots more here from duckduckgo.com
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=thermal+expansion+of+sea+water+with+temperature&t=h_&ia=web

    With your help, the kids may find this website helpful: (leave it to engineers to make the science useable)
    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/volumetric-temperature-expansion-d_315.html

    Slide 11 in this PDF may be helpful:
    https://pangea.stanford.edu/courses/EESS146Bweb/Lecture%202.pdf

    Slide 10 may be a graph of the equation in your comment #135.

    This one may hold the answer you seek, but you have to fork over the cash to read it. :)
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0011747170900744

    Here’s a homework problem to calculate sea level rise that may be helpful – may be understandable for kids:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/problem-using-thermal-expansion-to-calculate-sea-level-rise.856461/

    Some physical constants for sea water:
    http://www.kayelaby.npl.co.uk/general_physics/2_7/2_7_9.html

    This method appears to be fairly straightforward for an approximation:
    https://www.quora.com/How-much-would-sealevel-rise-only-due-to-expansion-of-the-water-from-heat-by-the-warming-up-the-oceans-with-two-degrees

    I’d start by making assumptions about the rise in temperature for each of a few levels of the ocean, say surface to -100m, -100m to -500m, -500m to -1000m, -1000m to the bottom (-3600m?), assume a salinity, thermal expansion coefficient, and initial and final temperature for each level, then add up the calculated delta height for each level. But, I’m not a CC scientist, so that’s just my best guess. If they could do triple integrals, might get a more accurate number, but just doing a few levels would be an interesting exercise.

    Good luck.